What We Eat Could Save the Planet!

Apr 10, 2018

The Hawaii Agriculture Foundation supports agriculture and farmers in Hawaii with educational and outreach programs. One highly successful outreach program that gained a hundred new subscribers in the last month is the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project that offers farm fresh produce to townies by subscription. Their Eat Think Drink series of community gatherings invited Peggy Liu to Honolulu recently to share her ideas about connections between food choice and sustainability.
Credit creative commons

The Hawaii Agricultural Foundation’s mission is to support farming in Hawai’i and connect farmers with the community.  Recently they invited one if China’s top 50 innovative business leaders to Honolulu to discuss the connection between sustainability and our eating habits.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

Peggy Liu is Chair of JUCCCE, a non-profit organization creating a livable China for the population and planet, and an expert in China’s clean energy landscape.
Credit Noe Tanigawa

Peggy Liu has been honored as a Time Magazine Hero of the Environment, a Forbes “Women to Watch in Asia”, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.  Liu is also Chair of the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, JUCCCE, a non-profit that spearheaded the first public dialogue between US and Chinese government officials on clean energy in China.  Liu says the Chinese government is fully on board.

Liu:  The China Dream is not just economic development, it’s about environmental protection in that we need a livable china as well.   So they go hand in hand.

Liu:  We can’t sacrifice people or the environment just because we want to grow.   They’re willing to actually slow down economic growth in order to make people happy.

Because 20% of the Chinese population is now obese, Liu and company have developed curricula and programs to help kids grow up making the right food choices.

Liu:  The “Aha!” moment for me was that food is the best Trojan horse to deal with all societal ills.  If you can get people to eat healthier, you can actually help achieve all 17 global sustainable development goals.

Liu says, from endangered marine ecosystems, to climate change, to poverty, and gender inequity, all the goals set by the World Economic forum and the UN, could be addressed through our food choices.

Liu:  What’s good for us is good for the planet, is good for society. 

According to UN figures, with livestock methane emissions, deforestation, transport, and more, the food system is responsible for 33% of the total global warming effect.   Liu contends that eating nutritious foods means growing food in a way that is actually healthier for the planet. 

The Hawai'i Agricultural Foundation says, "Our Local Inside CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program is a great way to support our local farmers as we are continuing to grow our operations and continue towards our mission of a more sustainable future in agriculture. We will also make announcements on our programs on both social media and our website, but highly recommend joining our monthly newsletter. Here is the link: https://bit.ly/2EBvGnS to sign up."

CSA boxes are popular across the continent, because they connect people with farm fresh produce and provide a steady distribution stream for farmers.  Basically, you subscribe to receiving a box of farm products.  You can choose the size and frequency of your box.  Here's more about it on O'ahu.  

Maybe our food choices do have global implications.